Raw Cashew Cheesecake Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Raw Cashew Cheesecake

This rich, dairy-free, no-bake cheesecake is flavored with agave nectar, a raw sweetener derived from the agave plant. Agave nectar is sweeter than honey with a milder, more floral taste—ideal for desserts or drinks.



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2 cups macadamia nuts
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1 ½ cups cashews
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½ cup pitted Medjool dates
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¼ cup dried coconut
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6 Tbs. coconut oil, melted (gently warmed)
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¼ cup lime juice
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¼ cup raw agave nectar
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½ sun-dried vanilla bean
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3 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries and raspberries


1. Place macadamia nuts in large bowl, and cover with cold water. Place cashews in separate bowl, and cover with cold water. Soak nuts 4 hours, then rinse, drain, and set aside.

2. Pulse macadamia nuts and dates in food processor to a sticky crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle dried coconut on bottom of 8-inch pie pan. Press macadamia nut mixture onto coconut to make crust.

3. Place cashews, coconut oil, lime juice, agave nectar, and 6 Tbs. water in bowl of food processor. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into food processor bowl, and purée until smooth. Pour mixture onto crust, and freeze 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Remove from freezer, slice while frozen, and transfer to serving platter. Defrost in fridge 1 hour, or on countertop 30 minutes; top with berries; and serve.

Nutrition Information: 

5 g
Total Fat: 
28.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
9.5 g
24 g
0 mg
7 mg
4 g
14 g
Serves 12

Comments on this Recipe

damn it! I only bought 1 cup of macadamia nuts! Can I wing it?

I actually do eat this every day... or thereabouts. I followed a similar recipe and made mini cheesecakes in cupcake liners, then popped the whole thing in the freezer so that it doesn't all need to be eaten at once. The macadamia nuts sound great, but for those wanting to save money and cut down on the fat a tiny bit, you can also use walnuts, or almonds, or probably pecans. Also, if hard pressed to find a vanilla bean you can use vanilla extract instead.

This dessert is now one of my favorites. It's delicious!

I made this for a party with mostly non-veggie people and it went over better than a regular cheesecake. Oh so good!

Vegan, yes .. but healthy, no! 28.5g of fat per serving if cut in twelve slices.

This sounds amazing but how/where do you get the sun-dried vanilla bean? Do you have to buy the beans and let them dry in the sun or something??

I have to agree with Susan, I realize that vegetarian does not necessarily mean healthy but the ingredients in this dessert are over the top in terms of fat and the tiny serving size would double or triple the fat with an actual serving. I am disappointed in the Vegetarian Times.

Looks good! Will have to try it. Also, Susan, I, too, used to simply look at the overall fat content and dismiss something because I'd think, 'Egads! That dish is too fattening,' however, when I examine where the fat comes from, it's a bit less frightening; in this case, the fat comes primarily from macadamia and cashew nuts of which 75% and 50% of their fat, respectively, is monounsaturated (good fat). Additionally, both these nuts are high in protein, fiber and magnesium. I wouldn't eat this cheesecake every day, but I wouldn't say it's unhealthy, either. Cheers!

They're not saturated fats, but unsaturated and tons of super-healthy and important omega 3.

Um, if you're worried about fat, why would you be eating a dessert in the first place. If there's a yummy Vegan dessert out there, that actually tastes good, I'm eating it!

Hi Jessica, I get the sun-dried vanilla beans from the raw section of my health food co-op. If your local health food store doesn't carry them currently, you may be able to get them to order some for you. Just be warned - they're a bit pricey! I think I pay about $9 for a package of three beans. However, if your goal is to keep the recipe completely raw, it's worth the expenditure. :)

what can i sub the vanilla bean 4 if the raw content is not 2 important 2 me?

Omg, this was so good. It actually kind of tastes like cheesecake. I wasnt expecting it to be that good due to the fact that i tried a raw vanill dessert pie purchased from whole foods and it was just alright but this was really good. And you really dont have to worry about the fat when you are eating raw because all the fat is coming from a good source. I will definately make this again. My only complaint was that the recipe made too much crust and too little filling. I will adjust next time to a half cup less macadamia nuts and a 1/2 cup more cashews w/ a little extra agave.

Omg, this was so good. It actually kind of tastes like cheesecake. I wasnt expecting it to be that good due to the fact that i tried a raw vanill dessert pie purchased from whole foods and it was just alright but this was really good. And you really dont have to worry about the fat when you are eating raw because all the fat is coming from a good source. I will definately make this again. My only complaint was that the recipe made too much crust and too little filling. I will adjust next time to a half cup less macadamia nuts and a 1/2 cup more cashews w/ a little extra agave.

Is this a vegan recipe? Yes. Is it high in fat? Yes. Is it still healthy? Yes! Fortunately it's chock full of nutrients that you don't always get in cooked food; because it's cooked. Obviously there is a lot of fat in the nuts, but these are good, healthy fats. Indulge in something that isn't void of nutrients because it's cooked!

I really want to make this but cannot find coconut oil (I live overseas). Does anyone have a suggestion for a substitute?

I had this at a raw food carry in and it is really good ellen

fat is good for you!

This is a good dessert. Very unique. Just little too heavy. Our guests ate very small portions and there was quite a bit of left over. Will only make it if there is a large crowd.

Yes, this recipe does seem as though it is high in fat, but all fat are not equal - just as all cholesterol's are not equal. There are good and bad on both sides. The fat here is from the nuts and the coconut oil.. but as you see there is zero cholesterol. As with everything, enjoy in moderation.

About finding ingredients overseas-Melanie, I live in Italy and when I want to make a dish that is not Italian (imagine that!) and calls for unusual/hard-to-find ingredients, I go to Asian import stores. Surprisingly, most of the time there's imports from all over the world. About the agave nectar though-this one has been tricky. I've just substituted creamed honey. I have a list of ingredients to stock up on the next time I visit family in the U.S. and can get these things!

This recipe is good and the fat content is still better than a real cheesecake, which has none of the healthful benefits!

The comment about the fat content really shows how much education we still have to accomplish! People are still confused and for good reason. There are just too many reports out there that are misleading or just plain wrong. Ps-sorry about any typos as I am using a phone...

So, we are talking RAW mac nuts and cashews, I presume? I live in Hawaii and not aware where to buy raw mac nuts. At the processing plant? Where do you buy them on the Mainland? I also have a hard time finding LIGHT agave syrup. I have loads of the darker stuff. Are these things generally available elsewhere?

Yes, NeeterLou - we have these in our local natural market. call them - This recipe is better fat than the processed fat you would find in a typical dessert.

My husband is allergic to Cashews, what kind of a nut could I substitute that would be of similar taste?

I made this recipe (halved) for my birthday. It was both easy and delicious. I liked that it was not too sweet. But I topped It using a cooked berry sauce.

I´m printing. Can´t wait to try.

i buy this from a cafe and it is the best dam dessert ever. They have a green tea flavoured one, better than any cake I have ever had! Good fat!

made this today for finicky cheesecake fans, they found it to be delish, and I used almonds instead of the macadamia, cause I didn't have any. Oh, and I used Extra Virgin Coconut Oil which has the lovely coconut flavor!

Yes...it has fat.. it from nuts and its better that the fat on real cheese cake... did you know how much calorie is one slice of cheese cake at the Cheese Cake Factory.... minimum of 707 cal per slice and 1,265 for the brownie sundae cheese cake.. and thats just a slice. Moderation is the Key.. Veg or non Veg..

this recipe is dandy. i prefer lemon juice to the lime though. more authentic cheesecake flavor. although, i never use macadamia nuts as they are the least healthy nut, cashews are alright, brazil nuts are very healthy though. its an acquired taste i think to make desserts with something that tastes as woody as a brazil nut. i like to line my pans with coconuts shreds to prevent the cake crust from sticking if i process too long. in addition, i never ever use agave. it is hydrolized and is a big no no. secondly, it isn't raw at all. ojio makes a raw agave, but its stil hydrolized and not to mention, the mfgs take the root of the agave plant which is a starch! starches are big no no number 2. Naomi called it right on the money. honey! raw and local if you can find it. with the beeswax and all if you like the texture, if not scoop it off the surface and enjoy natures natural superfood sweetener. email me with tips on raw cooking. i'm still a n00b. ;)

looks yummy. will try. Anyone interested in more yummy vegan recipes. check out livingonpulse.blogspot.com have tried some they are delicious

Susan, these are healthy fats.

This recipe is actually a great idea for cheesecake lovers like myself! This whole talk about how much 'fat' there is in this dish...HEY!!!! This is the GOOD fat we want, not the bad fat like in so many other desserts. This is a great healthy alternative. I agree with using lemon versus lime juice...it does give it a better 'authentic' cheesecake taste. I am soooo not a fan of coconut flakes or any other coconut type of flavor, but it certainly does not taste strong like i thought it would in this dish. So A+++++ !

I agree TOTALLY with Nat that using walnuts instead of macadamia nuts and vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans is a great substitution. I, also, like the mini cheesecake tip... I will have to do that next time and ongoing.

Made this for Valentines day. It was AMAZING. Seriously delicious and better than any raw cashew cheesecake I've tried before. I did make a few small changes to the recipe, however -I used a pre-made chocolate graham cracker crust (not raw) because I was pressed for time, and the person I was cooking for hates coconut -I used lemon juice instead of lime because I wanted to mimic the taste of traditional cheesecake -I pureed a package of fresh raspberries and agave nectar and spread it evenly over the surface after it had set in the fridge. It seemed to taste even better after it had been in the fridge for a couple of days, strangely enough. This is a very very high calorie food. Make it to share with others. If I didn't do just that I would have eaten the whole pie in one sitting because it's that good.

Too sweet. Too nutty. I prefer using tofu for dairy free cheesecake and coconut milk for mousses and truffles (works wonders). But non lactose intolerant people loved it. : ) (not a single piece left).

LOVED this recipe. I made it exactly as the recipe called for the first time but tonight I subbed in pecans in the place of macadamia nuts. Macadamias are just so expensive and I wasn't sure they gave it a necessary flavour. Hopefully it turns out for my grandmother's 80th tomorrow. Thanks for such a delicious raw, gluten-free, dairy-free and EASY to make dish!!

Let me know what u think of this

let me know what u think of this ;)

For all those worried about fats, your body craves a certain amount of fat. It lubricates your joints, among other things. Eating a recipe like this will help you to avoid the other, very unhealthy fats that you would have eaten when the cravings became too strong, like french fries or potato chips. Eating lots of healthy fats will actually help you to cut back on un-healthy fats, so go ahead, indulge. Give your body the healthy fats it deserves and you will finally have the will power to say no to un-healthy fats.

Sounds great

Soooooo good! I followed the recipe exactly except for the macadamia nuts which I substituted with pecans. Oh, I guess I didn't have the fruit either... next time! I find it hard to make nuts a part of my daily diet but if I can have them for desert that solves it!

OMG I hashtag LOVED this! So yummo. And HELLO, did someone say good fats?

What can be subsitute in place of macadamia?